Carrie Hayward, 34, from London (pictured right), was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 19. Always keeping up with the latest trends and wanting to look stylish, she hated the idea of medical ID jewellery.
“I avoided medical ID at all costs because the jewellery I came across was really ugly looking. I used to have a talisman necklace and just hated it – it didn’t suit me and I never wore it,” says Carrie.
But after traveling to work each day on the tube and getting serious hypos in the hot weather, the young lawyer decided she needed an extra safety precaution.
“You never know what’s going to happen, so I decided to browse online and see what’s available. I found a black silicone band which is quite professional looking for when I’m at work. I also got a silver bangle with an engravable charm to wear if I go out in an evening.
“Loads of people have commented on how smart the bracelets are, so I’m going to get more. It’s nice to have a variety to wear depending on what you’re doing.”
Diabetes is Not An ‘Obvious’ Condition
As diabetes isn’t really a condition you can see, Carrie says it’s more important than ever to wear something where people can identify you if anything were to go wrong.
“Diabetes is not something people are aware of unless you tell them. It’s not an obvious condition. You can do the best planning in the world, but you never know what’s going to happen.
“Wearing medical ID jewellery just gives you more confidence that people can easily identify you if something were to happen.
“Medical ID cards are all well and good, but people aren’t necessarily going to check your purse. If you’re involved in an accident you might not have your purse with you either.”
The Courts are Accommodating for Diabetics
Commenting on the recent news story of Bertie the Goldendoodle who lends a helping paw to barrister Joanna Golding if her blood sugar is high or low, Carrie also says the courts are very accommodating for her.
“When you notify the courts that you are diabetic, they’re perfectly accommodating when you need to take a glucose tablet or drink some Lucozade. Whereas anyone else would get pulled up by the bench when doing this.”
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Offering her advice to fellow diabetics, Carrie says it’s important not to feel isolated.
“There’s lots of people out there who have the condition so you’re not alone, it’s just a case of learning what suits you.
“It’s about having the confidence to tell your friends and colleagues and let them help you. By educating others they then know what to look out for which makes life easier.”
People who don’t know much about diabetes are often oblivious to it, so you need to communicate.
“A lot of people just think diabetes is about eating too much sugar, which isn’t always the case.
“Try to ignore when people describe your condition as something you’re ‘suffering’ from. It’s a very negative word and it’s incorrect because you’re not suffering from anything at all. People just have a lack of understanding on what’s involved.”
Do Everything You Want to Do
Carrie hasn’t let diabetes stop her from doing anything she’s wanted to do and advises others to have the same attitude.
“I haven’t let diabetes affect me in a negative way, I’ve been scuba diving, love staying active and going on holiday.
“Any changes you do have to make, like making your diet healthier for instance, are positive changes.”